Great Ideas for your Small Business: Buy a High-Tech Postage Meter
The days of lugging a heavy postage meter to the post office for a refill are over. On March 31, 1999, the U.S. Postal Service outlawed the mechan- ical postage meters used by most small businesses.
The Postal Service’s decision to phase out the mechanical meters was aimed at eliminating about $100 million a year in postal meter fraud.
Luckily, the new digital postage meter is much more efficient. It can download postage via modem in less than a minute for a small fee.
Pitney Bowes, the granddaddy of postal equipment, has a “Personal Post Office” product designed specifically for small businesses. The sleek, digital postage meter can download postage via a modem in about twenty seconds, twenty-four hours a day.
The software can print up to ten envelopes a minute, design envelopes, manage addresses, and tell you how much postage a letter or package needs. “Mail is the engine of commerce for small firms, but it’s time-consuming,” said Mike Stecyk, vice president and general manager of Pitney Bowes small office/home office division. “Pitney Bowes is reinventing the way small businesses generate mail.
We understand there is more to mailing than just putting postage on an envelope.” Stecyk said a recent company-sponsored survey found that 85 percent of small businesses surveyed are still licking stamps and preparing mail by hand—this is a big waste of time and money.
The company also has a Mail Marketer CD-ROM, which provides a direct mail tutorial, and a special mailing service that allows small companies to modem mailings to Pitney Bowes for distribution.